Hello, New Mommy!
We know you have spent months preparing for that cute bundle of joy to come home. You have probably scoured the internet looking for the perfect cream-diaper combination to prevent diaper rash, watched tons of videos to bone up on your swaddling technique and spent more hours than you can count reading about getting your baby to sleep through the night. But here's an important question—how much time have you spent getting yourself ready?
The fact is, Mom, there are a lot of supplies you need after the baby is born. Your post-baby body is nothing like you have seen before, so get ready for things to get real!
Nine months in we know you don't even recognize these gigantic milk machines! Once the milk comes in, your boobs will feel harder than you can imagine, your nipples drier than you are prepared to experience and, yes, we are sorry to say, there will be pain!
Get yourself a nursing bra. A nice soft one for sleeping in (you will want to have those things locked up 24/7) for the first few weeks. Then get a really supportive bra for daytime. Even if you never had large breasts before, you are going to want to invest in some underwire action. Buy yourself a few nursing tank tops, too! These are lifesavers when it comes to wanting to look dressed (great for the layered look) and yet still having easy access for feedings.
You will be in awe of how far your nipples will stretch, but only until the pain of that experience kicks in. That hurts, but not as much as the chapped skin. You thought chapped lips were bad, oh baby! Load up on nipple balm, gel and cream. Keeping it in the refrigerator will take care of two birds with one stone by relieving the pain and dryness.
Speaking of dryness, again we are sorry about this next part, but there is no avoiding it... your vagina (and the area around it) are going to be different. Even months after the baby is born, you will need support, and we are not talking about the moral kind. You will need help with the leaking. Comfortable pads made specifically for this time period are essential. Trust us, you will fall in love with anything offering this area comfort and dryness.
You may find that if you sneeze, you wet yourself. If you cough, you wet yourself. Stairs? Yep! Getting up? Sure! Sitting down? You bet! And maybe for no reason at all, you will wet yourself! Your body is resetting itself. Pregnancy- and delivery- weaken the muscles around the bladder and pelvis, which makes it harder for you to control when urine starts. You will not only need but want those pads.
Don't be afraid to embrace the glory of the yoga pant—especially if it has a little extra spandex. You will love the support it gives your now-a-bit-saggy tummy for the first few weeks. You can also repurpose those belly bands to go over your clothes that don't quite fit yet.
Here's the thing, Mommy, don't get hung up on your body "bouncing back" right away. Instead, keep your eyes on your body healing. We promise by the end of the first two months you will recognize your body a little bit more and start feeling better about everything—especially when you have that precious bundle of joy keeping you busy and on the go!